It occurred to me today that I have never really shown you how I gear up to a Challenge. If I'm lucky, as I have been this week with the cold, wet, short days we are having at the moment, I can cosy on down in the Van and immerse myself in plans.
Sometimes of course a Challenge creeps up on me and I wing it a bit, but I always get the most satisfaction from seeing a Challenge well thought through. And of course it makes it SO much easier if I actually know what I'm supposed to be doing on any given day.
So after a dash into town to post a birthday card in the sorting office (so it gets there as quickly as possible), and a quick walk through the park for Suky, I came home and started doodling out lists and ideas for menus for next week.
I finally settled on an outline of how I would eat for the seven days of the Challenge.
I didn't really think about what I had in or what I would need, I concentrated instead on some favourite meals and linked most of the evening ones with a single pack of Linda McCartney sausages that I have in the freezer. This gave me a base to start with and stopped me going off on wild and wacky tangents that would cost too much money.
Then I turned this into a seven day menu, covering breakfast, dinner and tea.
I wrote myself the basic recipes I would use for each of the component parts of some of the meals. The soups, salads and pasta sauce for instance.
Filling both sides of the paper. Now I just need to keep this to hand, or perhaps transfer it to a notebook for safe keeping, I'm notorious for losing sheets of paper!!
Next I wrote out a list of the ingredients and how much of each I would need to make up the dishes from my menu.
And then finally I shopped the cupboards and the fridge for the things on the menu that I already had. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had a large proportion of the items I needed. Which goes to show that I am already starting to whittle down the foods I keep in my cupboards to things that I eat regularly, something I have been working on for a while. It's hard to ignore some recipes that sound brilliant, but when you realise that they have lots of ingredients that you wouldn't perhaps use again for a while it makes it easier to do so … and that's exactly what I have been doing for the last few months.
So now I have the Challenge firmly sorted in my head, I know what foods I have in already, what foods I need to go out and buy. Now it's time to go onto mysupermarket.co.uk and put in the foods I have and work out how much they would cost me to buy this week, and then use the remaining money to buy the things I don't have.
It's starting to look a lot like a Challenge!!